Should Gambling Be Legalized?

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Should Gambling Be Legalized?

Over the past twenty or so years, great wealth and improved economic and social conditions have been promised to the communities that have embraced legalized gambling. However, with twenty years of experience it is time to look back and analyze whether this is true or not. It could easily be said that gambling is as American as apple pie.
Gambling has shaped American history since its beginning. Lotteries were used by The First Continental Congress to help finance the Revolutionary war. Many of our founding fathers, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George
Washington, have sponsored private lotteries. It has been said that "Our founding fathers were just numbers guys in wigs" At
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"The higher one's income , the more one will tend to see gambling as entertainment or as a way to socialize with other people. Conversely, the lower one's income, the more gambling tends to be seen as an investment"5 With the poor who cannot afford such investments as the stock market or real estate, gambling is meant to be less as play and more as a sincere chance to transform their lives for the better. While the poor do not spend much more than gambling than middle income families, they do spend a much higher percentage of their income. Another disturbing situation in the gambling community is the changing percentage of women and young people who are becoming problem gamblers. At this time gambling is called "the fastest-growing teenage addiction, with the rate of pathological gambling among high-school and college-age youth about twice that of adults." In Atlantic City, the lure of gambling is so strong that over thirty thousand underage people are either thrown out, or stopped from entering the casino.6 Lobbyists for the gambling industry have made exorbitant claims about the benefits that states will receive from the legalization of gambling. Among the many claims made by lobbyists are the increase in jobs, millions in revenue from gambling taxes, and an overall better economy. On the surface these statements seem beneficial. But

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